Short rib is awesome. And so are Samosas. The idea of putting these together in holy matrimony came to my mind while I was driving back home from work late at night.
I get excited and anxious like a kid when I feel like I've cracked something genius, and this recipe felt that that. It was a light bulb moment and I just had to do it.
For those not in the know, Samosas are triangular crisp pastries stuffed with—traditionally—spiced potatoes and peas and hail from the northern part of India. The Indian Empanada is the easiest way to describe it, and it is oh so good!
Today it was time to change it up a bit, and I decided on a meaty and spicy Short Rib filling spiced with ginger, garlic, coriander and soy sauce with a touch of sweetness from brown sugar. It was sweet, spicy and rich.
But that short rib needs some time and patience. It's slow cooked with the spices and then shredded apart and then cooled. It's truly a labor of love.
Let is sear as you put a little color on it and the richness just renders out, and it smells divine.
I usually whistle as I cook—and I whistle my son's TV show songs like Thomas The Train, or Chuggington coz literally that's all I hear him sing all day—and by now I'm whistling one of those songs in the kitchen as I throw my spices in the pan. Boom the aromas jump out, feeling like I'm doing something right
The meat is getting ready to fall off the bone but it needs more time. Way more time and I knock down the heat even more. My wife is out at her girl's night, and there is a sense of Zen and calm around me. I'm feeling at peace. I'm at home with this. I fiddle with my new camera a bit, trying to get to know this guy better. I come back in an hour ready to take some photos of the meltdown in my pot. It looks amazing, and I walk away happy with this photo I got.
But it still needs more time, another hour maybe. I wanted this to be a silky smooth Samosa filling, and I resisted taking it off the stove. I persist and I put a lid on it and walk away to make some pastry dough, still whistling Thomas.
Making the Samosa dough was a great experience. This dough has a unique personality, and it needs to be stiff, quite stiff but smooth. I start working gently and then really bring it all together with some force. The whistling has stopped, and my jaws are locked, lips pursed.
Time to give this dough a rest—and check on the short ribs. They're melting, almost there, but there is too much liquid, I uncover and cook it off. I shred the meat and it tears easily. Time has broken it down to butter and it smells amazing. I give it a taste and whisper a resounding YES! in my lonely kitchen. I add some peas, to remind myself of Samosas back home. I like the look of them too. The bones are the only brazen element in the pot and they look stunning.
I let the meat cool off a bit and roll out some dough for the Samosas. I get around a dozen small balls
I roll them out and stuff the mix. Fold it flat. This is like Origami!
This was a hard process. I've never made Samosas before and it was humbling as I thought it was going to be easy. As a kid I used to see professional Samosa makers roll out dough and stuffing them like machines, making them look so easy. I am relieved at what I've achieved, but also gained a lot of respect for those Samosa artisans. I can't wait to bake these.
They tasted crunchy and flaky on the outside and then smooth rich and savory with a touch of sweet melty Short Ribs that are now almost buttery. I dip them in the sweet chili sauce I had leftover in my fridge, I realized that in my excitement I never thought of the sauce to pair them with, but the sweet chili was perfect.
My day has ended well. Our friends came over to share these with us, and they brought some dessert too. We wined and dined and gossiped and crowded up the kitchen, while the kids stared at us through the cracks of the doors, then they ran away.
Short Rib Samosas
Makes 12 Samosas
1/2 lb Short Ribs
2 tbsp Coriander powder
2 tbsp Brown Sugar
1 tbsp Paprika
1 cup Soy Sauce
2 tbsp Ketchup
1 tbsp Crushed Ginger
1 tbsp Crushed Garlic
1 cup Cilantro (chopped fine)
Salt + Pepper to season meat
1 cup frozen peas
2 tbsp oil to grease pastry + 2 tbsp to sautee meat
2 cups water
Samosa Pastry Ingredients
2 cups all purpose flour
2 tbsp oil
1 cup water
1 tbsp Salt
Season meat with salt and pepper. In a Dutch oven, add 2 tbsp oil and bring the heat up to medium high. When the oil is hot enough add the meat, and sear each side for 2 minutes till you see some golden brown color.
Add all the spices, herbs and condiments to the pot and stir around. Add 1 cup of water, turn the heat to low and cover the pot and simmer for 1 hour. Stir occasionally and check for seasoning. Add more water if necessary. Cook down meat for 2 hours or more if needed. Meat should fall off the bone without much effort. Add peas in the final 5 minutes. Turn off heat and and cover pot to cool.
In a bowl add the flour, oil, water and salt. Starting gently combine everything. Once incorporated assert gentle pressure and make into a dough ball. Set the dough aside to rest.
Preheat oven top 350 degrees.
Make 12 small dough balls out of the dough approximately double the size of a Munchkin. Grease work station with some oil and roll out each ball into a 6 inch disk. Slice the disk two thirds the way down and place 1 tbsp of short rib filling in the center.
Bring each corner of the pastry into the middle forming a triangular shape. Crinkle the base with a fork and seal the pocket tight. Repeat for rest of the dough. Brush with oil.
Bake for 15 minutes, flipping once in between. Serve with sweet chili sauce.